A section of the Junction and Breakwater Trail has been closed to make way for construction of a new housing development in Lewes, near Cape Henlopen State Park. The quarter-mile affected area is in the northernmost trail segment, from the Hawkseye community to Gills Neck Road.
When it was built, the closed trail section was a temporary location to connect bicyclists, walkers and runners to Gills Neck Road. In the near future, a permanent trail section will run through the new Senators community, making the connection to Gills Neck Road. That segment is expected to open next year, according to Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control officials.
“The Junction and Breakwater Trail is an asset to the Hawkseye community and we welcome the opportunity to continue its use via a detour,” said John Schneider, president of the Hawkseye Property Owners Association. “Many of our residents are avid trail users and decided to build in Hawkseye because of the proximity to this jewel, a multimodal pathway from Lewes to Rehoboth.”
Markers are posted along Peregrine and Red Tail roads in Hawkseye guiding bikers and runners to Gills Neck Road. Trail users are directed to follow the designated route and respect private property.
In addition, a 1,300-foot trail section adjoining Senators along Gills Neck Road has shifted and will be replaced; it will open as construction moves to other phases within the new development.
Ironically, across the street in the Breakwater development, two residents have filed a lawsuit to halt construction of an extension of the trail to connect Gills Neck Road to Freeman and Kings highways into Lewes. The extension would give trail users a safer route to connect to Lewes than using Gills Neck Road, a narrow road with no shoulders.
The 6-mile Junction and Breakwater Trail connects Lewes and Rehoboth Beach along the southwestern border of Cape Henlopen State Park. It gets its name from the former Penn Central rail line that ran between Lewes and Rehoboth Beach in the mid-1800s. The first 3.6 miles in Rehoboth Beach opened in December 2003 followed by the second phase of 2.4 miles opening in June 2007.